At least 30 county sheriffs in Illinois are refusing to enforce the state’s new “assault weapons” ban because they contend it violates the Second Amendment.
Gov. JB Pritzker preemptively threatened to fire sheriffs who do not comply with the new law, which went into effect immediately, WMBD reports.
The Protect Illinois Communities Act (HB 5471) bans the sale of all assault weapons and magazines in the state. It also requires owners to register existing guns, among other provisions. Pritzker signed the bill into law on Tuesday night.
LaSalle County Sheriff Adam Diss, Fulton County Sheriff Jon Webb, Knox Country Sheriff Jack Harlan, and Woodford County Sheriff Matt Smith released identical statements deeming the law unconstitutional and say they will not enforce it.
“The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right. I, among many others, believe that HB 5471 is a clear violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Therefore… neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the State, nor will we be arresting or housing law abiding individuals that have been solely arrested with non-compliance of this Act.”
The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association released a statement opposing the legislation.
“The ISA is extremely disappointed in the passage and enactment of HB 5471, that further regulates and limits the purchase of a wide variety of weapons for lawful gun owners…We are always supportive of new tools, techniques and laws that assist us in preventing and holding accountable those that wage efforts of harm and violence on others. However, this law does not do that. We will continue to advocate on behalf of Sheriffs, all of law enforcement and the law-abiding citizens throughout Illinois.”
Counties refusing to enforce the law include: Clay, Edwards, Dekalb, Dewitt, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Iroquois, Jefferson, Jo Daviess, Kankakee, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Logan, Massac, McLean, McDonough, Ogle, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Randolph, Richland, Stephenson, Tazewell, Washington, Wayne, White, Winnebago, and Woodford.